On 16 June 2022, senior representatives of ASREN, GÉANT and RedCLARA convened in order to sign the Katowice Declaration during TNC22 in Trieste, Italy. The document affirms the continued collaboration between the three regional research and education networks in the thematic area of Earth Observation. This is a concluding agreement following a previous roundtable on the subject held at the Internet Governance Forum, in Katowice, Poland, in December 2021.
To meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tackle climate change and prepare for and respond to disasters (man-made or otherwise), data is required. This data is increasingly being centralised into large data sets from a variety of different sources and at varying volumes. The GEO communities focus on the transmission and exchange of such data which is utilised in the realm of geospatial research.
Geospatial research is the investigation into the various aspects of earth science, but with a focus on particular locations, and this relies upon a number of communication layers and distribution systems. In some respects, these layers are operated by a number of Private (commercial), Non-Profit, Governmental and Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) to form a communications commons which the GEO community relies upon for its systems and services to work. The Katowice Declaration solidifies and commits future collaboration between the three regional R&E networks in this area and enables a blueprint for strategic engagement in the future.
“ASREN has been engaging successfully with science communities in Africa, namely the African Group on Earth Observations (AfriGEO), through the EU co-funded AfricaConnect3 project, and this cooperation with GÉANT and RedCLARA is a concrete step forward into supporting the international Group on Earth Observation towards integrating scientific collaboration across the three continents.” – Yousef Torman, Managing Director, ASREN
“Bringing together the National Research and Education Networks of Latin America, RedCLARA coordinates the Regional Working Group in Climate Change, enhancing regional activities related to environmental sciences. RedCLARA is a member of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Group on Earth Observations for the Americas (AmeriGEO). RedCLARA has been actively seeking opportunities for further collaborations that would leverage engagement in climate change action through the optimisation and capacity building in the use of digital tools and development of further innovations in those fields.” – Mark Urban, Director for International Cooperation, Academic Relations and Communication, RedCLARA
“GÉANT stands by its commitments to tackle climate change and support the European Green Deal. We see the Katowice declaration as an expression of our determination to collaborate with our partners in the global research and education community to tackle climate change and work towards seeing the realisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.” – Chris Atherton, Senior Research Engagement Officer, GÉANT